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Rohit Sharma held the Indian second innings together with a patient half century on the fourth day of the third Test against Sri Lanka at the SSC.

Following the flurry of wickets on day three, the fourth morning was rather a quite period with India intent on building up a substantial lead while Sri Lanka pressed for wickets and was rewarded with two in the third and final Test played at the SSC grounds.

India resuming at a shaky 21 for three went to lunch at 132 for five wickets – a lead of 243 runs with five second innings wickets in hand.

India’s total was built around Rohit Sharma who figured in two half-century partnerships with his captain Virat Kohli (21) and Stuart Binny who was unbeaten on 38 off 45 balls (7 fours) at the break with Naman Ojha on 11.

Kohli and Sharma played risk free cricket before Sri Lanka managed to break through shortly before the first break for drinks.

Nuwan Pradeep who had picked up two wickets the previous day forced Kohli to edge a delivery to Upul Tharanga at first slip which the fielder juggled before holding.

Binny prevented any further inroads into the Indian batting by going on the offensive and building up a stand of 54 with Sharma before the latter having completed his half-century off 71 balls (four fours, one six) perished playing the pull shot to be caught at long leg by Pradeep off Dhammika Prasad.

Sri Lanka missed out an opportunity to have Binny’s wicket also in the bag when he was on 25 but wicket-keeper Kusal Perera fumbled with a stumping off Rangana Herath as the batsman stepped out to hit.

Scores: India 312 and 21-3 contd 132-5 at lunch (Virat Kohli 21, Rohit Sharma 50, Stuart Binny 38 n.o., Dhammika Prasad 2/44, Nuwan Pradeep 3/33)